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Brexit impact on farmers is the big issue at Newry Show

By Richard Halleron

Published 27/06/2016

Richard Henning exhibits at Newry Show
Richard Henning exhibits at Newry Show
James Bell and Hanna Glasgow
Evie and Heidi Hamilton with dog Maggie
Naomi Wilson all decked out

The potential fallout for agriculture from the Brexit vote was the key talking point for farmers attending this year's Newry Show.

"There is total uncertainty as to what now lies ahead," admitted show society chairman Kyle Henry.

"But the last thing that farmers in this area want is the re-establishment of the border, from a trading point of view. This would create major difficulties for their businesses."

Kilkeel pig producer Trevor Shields agreed: "I run a pedigree breeding operation. Two thirds of the boar semen we sell is purchased by farmers in the Republic of Ireland, so I do not want to see the re-establishment of the border. And this is a key issue that must be addressed by all the relevant decision makers over the coming months.

"Our survival as an industry depends on us having access to as many export markets as possible. Free trade with the Republic is crucial in this regard."

But Shields believes markets outside of Europe can play a vital role.

"Tremendous efforts have been made over recent years to secure direct access to the Chinese market for fresh pork that is produced here," he said. "That I am aware of, every box has been ticked in meeting all the requirements specified by the authorities in China.

"All we are waiting on now is the final decision on their part. Having access to the Chinese market would probably boost local pig prices to the tune of 6p/kilo."

James Bell and Hanna Glasgow. Right: Evie and Heidi Hamilton with dog Maggie

Naomi Wilson all decked out. Left: Richard Henning exhibits at Newry Show STEVEN MCAULEY

Belfast Telegraph

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